5 Homemade Gnat Traps That Really Work

Gnats are tiny flying insects that can be a major nuisance around homes and gardens. Their small size allows them to sneak through the tiniest of cracks and crevices. Once inside, they buzz annoyingly around your face and seem impossible to swat. Getting rid of gnats requires eliminating breeding areas and using traps to reduce their numbers. The good news is there are homemade gnat traps you can make with common household items that really work to catch and kill these irritating bugs.

Why Homemade Gnat Traps Are Effective

Commercial gnat traps you find in stores contain toxic chemicals to kill gnats. However, these chemicals can be harmful to kids and pets if used incorrectly. Homemade gnat traps are a safer alternative and can be just as effective at capturing and eliminating gnats.

The key is knowing what attracts gnats so you can DIY traps that lure them in. Gnats are drawn to sources of moisture, standing water, decaying organic matter, vinegar, wine, and fruit juices. They have a keen sense of smell and can detect these attractants from far away. Homemade gnat traps take advantage of the scents gnats gravitate toward.

Making your own gnat traps allows you to avoid chemicals and save money. Setting out several DIY traps around areas where gnats are problematic will help reduce their numbers so you can enjoy your home and yard gnat-free.

5 Easy Homemade Gnat Trap Options

Here are 5 homemade gnat trap ideas you can try using common household items:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best and most popular homemade gnat trap options. Here’s how to make one:

Materials Needed:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • A jar or cup
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water


  1. Fill the jar or cup about halfway with apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap and stir gently to combine. The dish soap helps break the surface tension so gnats sink and drown.
  3. Dilute the vinegar with a bit of water so the mixture is not too strong. Gnats prefer the scent of diluted vinegar.
  4. Place the gnat trap out on a counter, window sill, or anywhere you see gnats flying around. The strong vinegar scent will attract them.
  5. Check the trap daily and dispose of any dead gnats. Top up the vinegar solution as needed.

The vinegar and soap trap is very effective at catching lots of gnats. For even better results, set out several around your home.

2. Wine Bottle Trap

Gnats are drawn to the fruity aroma of wines. A wine bottle makes the perfect pre-made vessel for a homemade gnat trap:

Materials Needed:

  • An empty wine bottle
  • Wine (about 2 inches)
  • Liquid dish soap


  1. Add 2 inches of cheap red or white wine to the empty bottle.
  2. Add several drops of dish soap and swirl gently to mix.
  3. Place the wine bottle on its side in problem areas, so the top and opening are facing outward. The smell of wine will lure gnats in.
  4. The gnats enter the bottle but can’t escape due to the dish soap breaking the surface tension.
  5. Discard any dead gnats and replenish both the wine and soap as needed.

Wine bottle traps catch gnats without any need to buy supplies. Recycle your old bottles into effective gnat traps.

3. Fruit Juice Yeast Trap

The fermentation process produces carbon dioxide which is irresistible to gnats. Harness this with a homemade trap made from fruit juice, yeast and a bottle:

Materials Needed:

  • Plastic bottle with cap
  • Fruit juice
  • Active dry yeast
  • Warm water


  1. Remove the label from a 16-20oz plastic bottle and cut 3-4 holes about 1⁄2 inch wide around the upper side of the bottle. The gnats will be able to enter through these holes.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon of yeast with 4 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of fruit juice to the bottle then pour in the yeast mixture.
  4. Put the cap on tightly and shake gently to combine.
  5. Place the gnat trap near infested areas. The yeast will interact with the fruit juice and emit CO2 which attracts gnats through the holes.
  6. When the bottle is full of dead gnats, empty it out and refresh the juice and yeast mixture.

The yeast trap is an effective way to eliminate large numbers of gnats at once. The fermenting fruit juice smells irresistible to gnats seeking sources of nourishment.

4. Rotting Fruit Gnat Trap

Let’s face it, gnats love munching on rotting fruit. Why not take advantage of this fact by using decaying fruit to make a gnat trap:

Materials Needed:

  • Rotting fruit such as banana, apple or melon
  • Cellophane or plastic wrap
  • Toothpicks or wooden skewers
  • Bowl


  1. Allow a piece of fruit such as half a banana to overripen so it becomes very soft and brown. The more decayed the better.
  2. Place the rotting fruit in a bowl. Wrap it thoroughly in cellophane or plastic wrap, sealing it tightly so the fruity smell is contained.
  3. Use toothpicks or skewers to poke numerous small holes all over the plastic wrapping. The holes need to be just big enough for gnats to get through.
  4. Place the wrapped rotting fruit where gnats are problematic. The fruity, decaying smell will entice them inside through the holes.
  5. When the bowl contains ample dead gnats, dispose of the rotting fruit and replace it with new decaying fruit.

The rotting fruit gives off an irresistible scent that appeals to gnats. Trapping the smell with plastic wrap full of holes turns the fruit into an effective homemade gnat killer.

5. Sticky Traps

Sometimes low-tech traps are the most effective for catching pests. Sticky gnat traps involve gnat-attracting scents along with a sticky surface to immobilize the bugs:

Materials Needed:

  • Yellow poster board or cardboard
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Apple cider vinegar or wine
  • Pencil or skewer


  1. Cut the poster board into rectangular strips a few inches wide. Yellow is attractive to gnats.
  2. Smear a layer of petroleum jelly thoroughly over one side of each strip to make them sticky.
  3. Use a pencil or skewer to punch holes along the top edge of each strip. Thread string through the holes to create hanging strips.
  4. Soak the bottom 2 inches of each gnat strip in apple cider vinegar or wine and hang them near gnat problem areas.
  5. Gnats will land on the strips to drink the vinegar/wine and get trapped in the sticky petroleum jelly coating.

For maximum impact, hang multiple sticky gnat traps around different areas of your home. When a strip fills with dead gnats, replace it with a fresh sticky trap.

Tips for Making Homemade Gnat Traps More Effective

To get the most out of homemade gnat traps, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use attractants – The traps work by luring gnats in. Include bait like vinegar, wine, rotting fruit, yeast, etc. that gnats just can’t resist.
  • Add dish soap – A few drops of liquid dish soap helps break the surface tension of liquids so gnats drown instead of escaping.
  • Cover large areas – You need multiple traps spread around to tackle a gnat infestation. Target known problem zones.
  • Seal openings – Cover traps with plastic wrap or lids so gnats enter but can’t escape.
  • Be patient – It takes time for traps to work. Use them continuously to get your gnat population under control.
  • Clean traps regularly – Check traps daily, remove dead gnats, and replenish bait/liquids so the scent stays strong.
  • Prevent breeding – Traps only catch the gnats you already have. Stop them breeding by cleaning drains and removing rotting matter.
  • Use alongside other methods – Combine traps with exclusion techniques like sealing cracks plus surface spraying for quicker knockdown.

With some creativity and strategically placing homemade gnat traps made with common household items, you can rid your home of annoying gnats naturally and effectively.

FAQ About Homemade Gnat Traps

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about making and using homemade gnat traps:

How do homemade gnat traps work?

Homemade gnat traps rely on DIY bait that contains attractants like vinegar, wine, fruit juice, yeast, rotting fruit, etc. This bait lures gnats inside via holes or openings. Dish soap is added so gnats get trapped and drown. Sticky traps use adhesive surfaces to immobilize gnats when they land.

Where is the best place to put gnat traps?

It’s most effective to place homemade gnat traps near known problem areas with the heaviest gnat activity. Target places like kitchen counters, near pet bowls, around potted plants, windows, doorways, sink and shower drains, compost bins, trash cans, and anywhere else you see gnats buzzing around.

How many homemade gnat traps do I need?

To tackle a gnat problem, you need multiple traps spaced around different areas. Aim for 5-10 traps minimum. The more you use, the faster you’ll see results. Don’t just put out one trap and expect that to solve a widespread infestation.

How often should I change homemade gnat traps?

Check your homemade gnat traps daily. Remove any dead gnats and refresh the bait/liquids. The attractants like vinegar lose their scent strength over time. Replenish so the smell stays potent. Replace any traps filled with dead gnats to maintain trapping power.

Can homemade gnat traps get rid of an infestation completely?

Traps alone won’t fully eliminate all gnats. They help reduce the population so it’s more manageable. Combine traps with sealing cracks, cleaning drains, removing food sources, and spraying to destroy breeding areas. Stopping reproduction is key for getting infestations totally under control long-term.

Are homemade gnat traps safe for pets?

Homemade gnat traps contain no toxic chemicals, making them very safe for use around pets. Ensure traps are placed somewhere your cat or dog can’t access and ingest any of the bait liquid. Supervise animals closely when traps are set out. Never use chemical gnat traps near pets as these can be extremely dangerous if consumed.

Homemade gnat traps present an inexpensive, effective and non-toxic solution for catching and reducing annoying gnat populations in your home. Be sure to employ multiples traps at once and partner them with other prevention methods for best results. With a bit of work, you can evict gnats from your house using common household items.


Gnats may be tiny, but they can be enormously frustrating when they invade your home in swarms. Their small size allows them to sneak indoors and evade swatting. Luckily, you can outsmart these annoying flying pests with homemade gnat traps.

Apple cider vinegar, wine, rotting fruit, yeast, and sticky paper can all be used to DIY gnat traps that lure them in. Dish soap is added to drown and kill trapped gnats. The best approach is setting out multiple traps in known gnat hot spots. Partner your traps with exclusion and breeding prevention methods to eliminate an infestation.

Homemade gnat traps offer an affordable, effective and non-toxic solution for reducing gnat populations. Trap those annoying bugs so you can enjoy gnat-free living spaces using smart, simple methods anyone can master.